Last month, we traveled to spend time with family, then we welcomed family and friends to gather in our home for Christmas. Our home was host to 11 overnight guests and 25 total for Christmas brunch and supper. This in itself was a miracle since just a few weeks before this, we were protected from a fire , but ended up replacing carpet, added tile, new baseboards, crown molding, and paint in the living room (all within about 2 weeks). Just after our guests left, we found issues in the boys’ upstairs bathroom, again forcing us to do more unexpected remodeling. At this point the entire bathroom is gutted (except the bathtub/shower) and ready to start building back up. Hopefully it will be completed in the next couple weeks so that we can get the boys’ back in their own bathroom and routine.
In these home projects that seemed to thrust themselves upon us, I pray that Stefan and I glorify God: as we work, and then glorify Him as we raise our family in this home. It’s stressful work, remodeling and repairing. I’ll be honest, Stefan does most of the work, I just do what I can. But, we are a team. We tear out the old, strip out the broken, collaborate our vision for the new, build and restore, then my favorite… add color and decorate. It’s a burden, all this renovating and time poured into projects. But when we have finished, we can know our family has a lovely space to gather and grow. Hopefully we, ourselves have grown closer, over shared sweat, blood, and teamwork.
This past fall, I poured into friends instead of writing. Investing in people directly seemed to be the call of the season. Pouring my heart onto the page is soul cleansing but looking into the eyes of a friend in need and seeing her smile in relief- that’s soul satisfying.
Starting last summer, I focused on my physical health. It took a drastic challenge to get me started, but I managed to lose 40+ lbs and find a love for weightlifting. I am proud that my body is stronger, more capable. Today, Lincoln and I walked (he in the stroller) a mile to a park where I chased him, climbed ladders, went down slides, then walked about a mile and a half home. I truly just had fun running around with him, knowing my body could handle it. I am making better eating choices. I still love a good chocolate chip cookie and my diet Dr. Pepper, but I try to keep those to a minimum. I pray that I can keep these healthy habits and they will carry me through the next stages of my life.
Since I quit working a corporate job, I have finally had time to breathe. I praise God that He has provided a way for me to do all these things. To love my family well, to build meaningful relationships with other moms, to get my health on track, to create and maintain spiritual habits and disciplines that grow my faith, to write and encourage others, to make our home a place where people can gather and grow closer- All these things, I am thankful for each one.
It’s been a season of health, home, and community, building strong foundations that are solid groundwork for all that is to come. It’s hard to imagine the next decade. Whereas the last was spent bringing new life into our family, building our home, establishing careers, finding passions, and finding our footing in serving the Lord, the next ten years will look quite different. Ten years from now, Zachary will be in his first year of college (WHAT?!), Gavin will be a senior in high school, and Lincoln will be a teenager. My mind can’t even process that. I do know that the Lord has been faithful in these last ten years, over and over again. I am excited to see all the ways He reveals Himself in our lives through 2030.(That doesn’t even look like a real year. Scary.)
My desire is to write more frequently. It brings me joy to share my experiences and words with you. I pray that I can be an encouragement to you, and hold out the hope that I myself cling to. May the Lord bless you and keep you in this fresh new year!